Government takes action to improve company transparency

In April 2014, the UK government published proposals to improve transparency and accountability of companies. It is proposed that a central registry of company beneficial ownership will be established at Companies House and will be publically accessible. Individuals who ultimately own or control more than 25 per cent of a company’s shares or voting rights will be classified as ‘beneficial owners’. Companies will be obliged to provide information about their beneficial owners on the central registry as well as maintaining their own register.

New powers will be introduced to enable companies to investigate which persons are ‘interested’ in their shares. Beneficial owners will also have a continuing obligation to disclose their identity and how their beneficial interest is held. On incorporation, a company will have to provide an initial statement of beneficial ownership, and the company will have to update this information at least once every 12 months.

Along with this, the government states it will be making efforts to clarify and simplify procedures for the convenience of companies and individuals alike. The aim is to rationalise requirements for business, allowing companies to provide the most useful set of information in the most sensible way, with new requirements reducing duplication or complexity while minimising opportunities for companies and individuals to evade requirements…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Collyer Bristow briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Collyer Bristow

  • The Wedgwood Collection — saved for the nation

    The recent successful fundraising appeal to save the historic Wedgwood Collection of around 80,000 works of art for the nation received much publicity.

  • Gifts to the nation and their taxation

    The offer by the estate of Lady Mary Soames to transfer 38 paintings by Sir Winston Churchill into public possession under the Acceptance in Lieu scheme provides a timely opportunity to consider how the scheme is functioning.

View more briefings from Collyer Bristow

Analysis from The Lawyer


4 Bedford Row

Turnover (£m): 14.90
No. of lawyers: 56